Welcome to our Abroad series, where we document our encounters with cheese and cheesemakers on our travels!
Here at the California Cheese Trail, our heart and soul is California. We're proud of our dairy farmers and cheese makers. That is why we created the Cheese Trail to support them. But once in awhile, travel takes us to far out places and we encounter cheeses from abroad. Here is our newest series to our blog, where we document our travels!
Our Abroad Series
Hi, I'm Philip. If you don't know me, I'm the official sidekick here at the California Cheese Trail. This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for two weddings. The itinerary included the United Kingdom, Spain, and France!
My first stop was the Cotswolds in the United Kingdom. As I did some research before the trip, I realized there are some great cheeses from the region as well as cheese shops. I made sure to make time to try the local cheeses.
The Cotswolds is an area in the UK that is famous for its charming and quaint English towns and villages built from golden yellow brown stones. If you are into nature and hiking, you will also find the Cotswold Way National Trail, which is a 102-mile-long footpath that traverses through the whole area. Picturesque to cut the story short. Back to cheese.
I was more than excited to find out about the Cotswold Cheese Co. They have several shops in the Cotswolds: Burford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cheltenham, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Founded in 2006, it was acquired by Jon and Lisa Goodchild in 2010. They stock more than 120 different artisan and farmhouse cheeses. I was able to sample a bunch of the cheeses and took home some "Rollright" from King Stone Dairy (a washed rind soft cheese banded in spruce bark) and Cerney's "Ash" (a goat cheese hand-coated with an oak ash and sea salt mix). I also learned that there is a cheese named after the region. The Cotswold cheese is a variation of the Double Gloucester which is made from cow's milk and has chopped onions and chives added to it. It is one of the more popular pub cheeses in England.
There is nothing quite like walking around the town and stopping by the local cheese shop for a snack!
Kim, the cheesemonger at the Stow-in-the-Wold location kindly informed me that there were some local cheesemakers nearby, but unfortunately, my schedule didn't let me fit a visit in. There is always next time!
If you plan on visiting the United Kingdom, I highly recommend spending a couple of days in the Cotswolds. The area has everything you need for a vacation: great scenery, charming towns, and cheese!
Next up on "Abroad", I head to Spain and the south of France to find more cheese. Cheers!